I stood in front of the Computer Information Systems class at the local community college where I was invited to do the presentation I travel around to local schools with, Social Media 4 Students. Everything was going quite well as I warmed up the class of 30 or so mainly 20-something students in the computer lab.
"How many of you use social media?" I asked. Silence, and then, "You mean like Facebook?" someone asked. "Yes, like Facebook," I said. About 80% of the class raised their hand for Facebook, but when I polled them on Twitter only a few did, no one had a LinkedIn account and just one person had a blog. He posted his gaming scores there. As I gauged the class - because I didn't want to talk below or above their level, it occurred to me that examples outside of my presentation would come in handy and make the class more interactive. We were in a computer lab after all.
I asked what the value of establishing a personal brand and then applying it to social media would be for a student. I got the deer in headlights look. "Well, let's look at an example," smartly said the ninja.... "Google my name, Karla Porter." Heads went down and keys rhythmically played my name in unicode asynchronous cacophony.
And then, one by one, heads raised up as eyes as large as saucers honed in and locked with mine. I sensed something clearly wasn't quite right. I advanced forward to the nearest student's flat screen. There it was..
Karla Porter - Six denied bail in murder scheme
As I reassured the class I couldn't be in jail and in their class at the same time they recovered quickly and grins appeared on their relieved faces. Over night, this woman had knocked me to page rank hell with a lot of stupidity and a little payola to some hit men. "Don't worry class," I chuckled, "I'll knock her back down to where she belongs right quick," and I continued on with my presentation.
As it turned out, it was the perfect example to make the statement - when someone searches your name who and what will they find?
P.S. I put the unsavory character back in her place but it wasn't easy, she got tons of media attention.